Past Program

Due to ongoing travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Sector Strategy Network has shifted to hold its meetings online in 2020, and to examine how governments from different countries have adapted their long-term strategic thinking in response to the changing circumstances.

The disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic has put increased strain on the ability of governments to carry out their roles effectively in a world already facing increasingly complex challenges from shifting public expectations, political unrest, and budget cuts. As a participatory, intelligence-gathering, and medium- to long-term process, strategic foresight is inseparable from discussions about the future of government and is integral to developing the skills and expertise of public servants around the world. Primarily concerned with looking forward, learning from the past and present is an important part of any strategic planning process.  

By invitation only



        Program Recap
        Program Info

        On 29 May 2020, senior officials from Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Singapore, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) gathered online to explore different countries’ respective approaches to managing the COVID-19 pandemic and the pivotal role of well-planned government strategy in crisis.  
        As the 2020 program had originally been scheduled to take place in France, former French Foreign Minister and global health expert Philippe Douste-Blazy gave welcome remarks, followed by presentations of different perspectives and experiences from Finland (Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General, National Agency for Education on “Education in Finland” and Jaana Tapanainen-Thiess, Chief Senior Specialist, Strategy Department, Office of the Prime Minister on “Using Foresight for Decision-Making”) and the United Kingdom (Liz McKeown, Director, Public Policy Analysis, Office of National Statistics on “Innovation in the UK” and Geoff Mulgan, Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation, University College London on “Igniting Social and Policy Imagination”). 

        Participant Profile

        The Public Sector Strategy Network connects expertise across sectors and regions to address long term macro trends and immediate priorities. Members of the Network:

        • Current or recent ministers, cabinet secretaries, similar ranking senior officials or rising stars recognized as leaders in public sector innovation;
        • Disruptors and resource experts at the leading edge of technology, finance, communications, behavioral science, academia, philanthropy, and civil society;
        • City leaders, representing mayors or senior officials from cities; and
        • Network multipliers, representing top public service training institutions/networks and possibly business schools.

        Participation in the online program is strictly limited by invitation only, including existing Network members, to facilitate open exchange of ideas among senior officials in an intimate and confidential manner.


        Connect senior leaders and rising talent in government in an environment of trust and open exchange to foster new relationships, continued support and future partnerships


        Facilitate active ongoing peer-to-peer learning through the sharing of examples of best practices and lessons learned from system failure and recovery, as well as reflections on the Retreat itself


        Provide the opportunity for participants to collaborate and develop new skills that can be directly applied to their current work and organizations, supporting intrapreneurship in public sector culture


        Develop together a framework for useful ongoing information sharing, opportunities for further cooperation, and external resources to help each other anticipate challenges and reimagine the design, delivery, and funding of core services and more effective communication with citizens, civil society and business.